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During their evolution horses grazed for about sixteen hours a day on a pure roughage diet. Left to their own devices they still do so today. Their digestive systems are therefore suited to little and often feeding and the best feeding programmes are based on this principle.
Unfortunately the pressures of modern life often make it hard to give horses frequent, small feeds and many problems occur when horses are fed large quantities of cereal-based feeds.
TopSpec Feed Balancers contain concentrated amounts of nutrients in a small amount of feed, allowing more forage to be fed throughout the day, creating a more natural way of feeding that is in harmony with the horse’s digestive system.
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Forage, whether in the form of grass, haylage or hay should usually be offered ad-lib to horses and ponies. Doing this ensures that the all-important microflora (mainly bacteria) in the hindgut have a constant supply of fibre to digest, resulting in a consistent fermentation pattern. This consistency means that your horse is much less likely to suffer from the many problems that can result from an upset in the microbial balance.
Naturally the type of grass/haylage/hay that you offer your horse needs to be chosen with your horse’s requirements in mind. For example, a hard working event horse is often suited by ryegrass haylage, whereas a really good-doer in light work may need late-cut, high-fibre meadow hay.
Time spent chewing long-fibre or chops has both physical and mental benefits.
2) Keep Bucket Feeds Small
Feed Balancers can be fed on their own or as a base to which other feed is added. Feed size should not exceed 2kg (dry weight) for a 500kg horse.
3) Keep an eye on condition
This is because over a period of time feeding a conditioning TopSpec feed balancer will significantly reduce the requirement for hard feed. If adding a TopSpec feed balancer to one Stubbs scoop of cubes, you will probably need to cut down to half a scoop of cubes within 4-6 weeks, and may need to cut down further in the future.
4) In most cases do not add supplements
In most circumstances the provision of several specialised supplements within TopSpec Feed Balancers eliminates the need for any further supplementation. Additives e.g. TopSpec Calmer, can be added if required.
Quantities to be fed
Most TopSpec Feed Balancers should be fed at a rate of 100g balancer/100kg bodyweight daily. The following table will help you to decide how much to feed to your horses or ponies. (As a guide a half-pint mug holds approximately 200g of any TopSpec Feed Balancer). Free measures are available from all stockists. Please refer to the sack or to our Multiple Award Winning Helpline for feeding rates of TopSpec Stud Feed Balancer and TopSpec Racing Feed Balancer as they are fed at higher rates.
• As with all new feeds TopSpec products should always be introduced gradually over a period of four days, starting with approximately one quarter of the amount you intend to feed by day four. TopSpec feed balancers can be fed with forage alone or with your choice of straights/blends and/or compound feeds.
• The diet of sweating horses must be supplemented with additional salt, especially if feed intake is low. All horses should have access to a salt-lick 24/7 but common table salt should be added to the feed of sweating horses daily.
• We are frequently asked if garlic can be fed with TopSpec, the answer is yes, for any herb.